Sunday, July 09, 2006

Wild Service

This is one of those instances where my cheap digital camera proves inadequate.

In any case, occasionally I get it in my mind that it's a good thing to be educated about edible wild plants. In case I find myself in the backwoods without a supply of food, it would be nice to have a good idea of what my options are.

Here we have a Serviceberry. I had pretty high hopes for this little berry. If you read about them from various sources on the internet, you would be lead to believe they not only look like blueberries, but also taste like them. Native Americans referred to them as "sweet" berries. Nutritionally, they are high in vitamin C, iron, and copper. That is all fine and good, but when I tasted this little fruit, while there very well may have been underlying notes of blueberry, I couldn't get past the bitter taste of leather. It tasted like it had sat too long in someone's saddle bag. Now I know some people don't mind that flavor and even prefer the "leathery" flavors in certain wines, but it really isn't my idea of a "sweet" blueberry imitator. And then there was the single seed inside that was about the size of a fennel seed, which is quite large for such an innocuous-looking berry.


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